Vol. 5 No.9 November 2000




I am always amazed at what the less than informed members of the press print

about running and runners. The most outlandish example recently was an article

written about Suzy Favor Hamilton's fall in the finals of the 1500 at the

Olympic Games. Leading the race near the end, Suzy collapsed to the track and

had to be taken off the field by medical personnel. One reporter indicated the

opinion that Favor Hamilton faked it all. The insinuation was that once she

realized she was not going to win, she threw herself to the track in order to

have an excuse for not winning the gold. Sure, there are probably all kinds of

runners who train all their lives to run in an Olympic final that suddenly get

the urge to throw themselves to the track. That one really holds water.

Brilliant analysis. In a pig's eye!

Moronic journalism aside, the truth was simply that a combination of

dehydration and stress caused her to black out. She ran all out, gave it

everything she had, and deserves better than amateur second-guessing. This is

quite typical of today's "hype sells newspapers" journalism. It's bad for all

sport, not just track and field.

To find out a little more about Suzy, see her interview in this edition of

Runner's Niche, and give her web site a gander.

Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers!

- WG

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MARATHON & BEYOND MAGAZINE - Marathon & Beyond, the only magazine that focuses

on the specific needs of marathoners and ultrarunners. M&B offers in-depth

articles on training, race strategies, injuries, nutrition, race profiles,

running history, and more. Visit their web site at:


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Congratulations to last month's trivia winner, Nobody. Nobody receives a free

issue of Marathon & Beyond Magazine and FAME! That's right, NOBODY won last

month. Come on, you gotta' try a little harder than that, guys!

Trivia contest entrants are limited to one prize per calendar year.

When answering, email your answers with the subject "trivia contest" and

answer the questions in the order they appear below. Mail to:

woodyg3@netone.com. The FIRST person to answer all ten questions correctly

wins. If nobody answers all ten correctly, we will award the prize to the

person who answers the most questions correctly. Good Luck!

This month's Questions:

Part 1 Geography

Name the location of each of the following races:

1. Golden Leaf Half Marathon

2. Comrades Marathon

3. The Pacific Crest Trail Run and Relay

4. Dipsea Trail Race

5. Mount Meru International Marathon

6. Gran Maraton Pacifico


Part 2 Marathon Fun

7. In what year did Belaine Densimo break the 2:07 barrier in the marathon at


8. Who was the male winner in the 1998 London Marathon?

9. Who was the female winner in the 1998 London Marathon?

10. What male marathon runner set a world best marathon time of 2:08:18 at

Fukuoka, Japan in 1981?



Last Month's Answers:

1. Who is the only runner besides Paavo Nurmi to win the Olympic 10,000 meter

gold twice in non-consecutive Olympics? (Thanks to Joe Henderson for this

question.) - Derartu Tulu

2. Only 20th in this year's mens Olympic Marathon, who was the Gold Medal

winner in Atlanta? - Josiah Thugwane

3. What nation is scheduled to host the 2004 Summer Olympics? - Greece

4. Who was the only woman to attempt doubling in the marathon and 10,000

meters at Sydney? - Tegla Lourupe

5. One of the few Chinese track athletes sent to Sydney was tenth place

finisher in the womens marathon. Who was she? - Ren Xiujuan

6. Why were so few Chinese track athletes sent to Sydney? - Chinesse concerns

with positive drug tests.

7. What famous American shot put star tested positive for steroids recently?

(Hint: this story broke to the media during the Sydney Olympics.) - C.J.


8. Michael Johnson, American anchor runner on the 4 x 400 meter relay,

understandably received the bulk of the media attention after the team won

gold. Still, he did not run the fastest split for the team. Who did? - Calvin

Harrison (3rd. leg)

9. Tenth place finisher in the mens Marathon at Sydney, Steve Moneghetti of

Australia, is quite the veteran runner. How many Olympic marathons has he

competed in? - 4

10. Gold and Silver medalists in the Marathon, Naoko Takahashi and Lidia Simon

both spent some time training in the same location prior to the Olympics.

Where was this high altitude location? - Boulder, Colorado.



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Interview By Woody Green

Suzy Favor Hamilton's 3:57.4 was the fastest time in the world for 1500 meters

this year. Suzy was going into the Olympics with high hopes for a medal, and

she came close. Leading the race with a little over 100 meters left in the

final of the 1500, Favor Hamilton suddenly looked very distressed, then she

collapsed to the track. It was a terrible way to end a great season, which

included a second place finish in the Olympic trials and several fast times in

European competitions.

Not a new face to top level competition, she has been on the 1992, 1996 and

2000 Olympic teams. She has taken 6 national open championships, 9 NCAA

championships, and a bronze medal in the 1998 Good Will Games. Suzy is one of

the best recognized and highly regarded athletes in American track and field.

Runner's Niche: You've been running at an elite level since high school,

along that line what have you done to stay fresh and healthy, while still

progressing in your fitness level through the years?

Suzy Favor Hamilton: I guess I’ve just focused on enjoying myself and having

a life aside from running. It allows track to feel fresh. Always a new

challenge to try to conquer.

RN: Many of our readers are high school runners. What type of workout plan do

you think is key in developing a young runner without burning them out?

SFH: Just don’t overdo it at an early age. Keep it simple and enjoyable.

RN: As a 1500-meter runner speed work is vital. What type of interval and

repetition running do you recommend for runners wishing to compete in the

mile or 1500?

SFH: I like to do 600m repeats. They’re an awesome way to get ready for a

1500m. I like 200m repeats for fine-tuning just before a race. Focus on the

speed more during the track season.

RN: What do you do for your aerobic base, and how does it vary from the off-

season to the track season?

SFH: I focus on base much more in the off season. That’s such an important

time of the year. As track season arrives, I focus much more on speed work.

RN: You've had a long and distinguished in running. What

are a couple of your personal highlights so far?

SFH: My state high school titles, nine NCAA Championships, and victories in

Paris, Lausanne and Oslo.

RN: What are your goals for 2001 and beyond?

SFH: Nothing real specific. Just to run as well as possible, and stay

healthy. I would love to be a World and Olympic Champion before I’m done.

The American Record in the 1500m would be nice.

RN: Recent reports indicate that you intend to find a sport psychologist to

help you prepare for future races. What lead you to make this decision?

SFH: Collapsing at the Games. That was very scary and disturbing to me.

This has happened a few times in my career, but not to the extent where I’m

unconscious for an extended period. I think my collapse was part physical,

but part mental as well, anxiety related, so if I can do something to help

it, I’ll do it.

Web Site: Suzy has her own web site at:


Included are a bio, training tips, Suzy's interests outside of running,

samples of her art work, pictures of her husband and her dogs, and plenty of

pictures of her. Yes, guys, there are plenty of her swimsuit pictures there.

There are also quite a few pics of Suzy on the track. Any running fan should

find something of interest on this site. Check it out!

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RUNNER'S NICHE BOOKSTORE - Learn more about your sport by reading. Go to:


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By Ben Fogelberg

One evening about two months ago, I came home after work in an unusually

depressed mood. Work had not gone well and I wanted to blow off some steam

with a run. The sun was already low in the sky and soon would sink behind the

mountains that mark the western boundary of Fort Collins. I headed east along

a dirt trail that parallels an irrigation ditch. My mind settled somewhat as

the minutes passed. Since I had never run this route before, I judged distance

with my watch. I figured ten minutes was worth a mile, given my slow pace. The

ditch trail wound through an exclusive neighborhood, then continued past

cornfields. Except for a blue heron that took flight from the waterway's bank

as I approached, I was alone. After thirty minutes, I left the ditch and

continued east along a two-lane highway that had been paved only hours before

and was closed to traffic until the surface hardened and center lines could be

painted. I knew this would be the only time I would ever have the road to

myself, so I held a steady course straight down the middle and enjoyed the

subtle "give" of the cooling asphalt without fear of getting run over by a

car. Even though I knew my wife expected me home before dark, I kept going

without deciding how far or how long I wanted to run.

Finally, I drew near Interstate 25, an impassable barrier that forced me to

turn around and decide just what kind of run this was going to be. I glanced

at my watch and was surprised to learn that I had been running for almost an

hour. About six miles. That meant that I would be running at least twelve

miles if I went straight back home. I had not run more than six at once for

several years. But I felt good- looking west I could see my highway vanishing

into a panorama of hills, trees, and buildings that became a single dark mass

sparkling with streetlights as the sun set behind the familiar shape of

Horsetooth Mountain. I felt that by running all those miles through the

landscape I had earned the right to look at it. The view was mine. I owned

everything I looked at: my highway, my city, my mountains.

The miles slipped past: seven, eight, nine, and on until night stole my

possessions but left me rich with the sounds of my own footfalls, breathing,

and heartbeat; change in my pocket to be spent on another view on another day.

I stopped in front of my house and could see my wife doing dishes through an

open window. She would be worried about me. She would not ask me about the

road, or the blue heron, or the mountains, or the twelve easy miles. She was

hoping that the phone would not ring.


-Is the wife of Benjamin Fogelberg?


-I'm very sorry to tell you this, but your husband was hit...

No, she would not believe me when I told her that they closed the road just

for me tonight.




By Michael Selman

While I was getting ready for work this morning, Harriet was busy folding the

laundry. "You know" she said with ultimate contentment. "It's such a nice

feeling to see a set of my running attire for every day since I last did

laundry." I knew what she was talking about right away. She's been running

well, and running often. And it all comes out in the wash.

Your laundry reveals a lot about you. The window to the dryer can be like a

window to the soul. It suggests the seasons, and it showcases your tastes,

private as well as public. It reveals how you like to spend your leisure

time, and it tells no lies about your running. If you're not running, there

is less to wash, less to dry, and less to fold. Give me an extra load any


When running has a focus and a goal, it seems to also achieve the type of

consistency that makes the early wake-up call easier to answer. More often

than not, when running is going well, the alarm is turned off before I have

to face the music. That's how ready I am to add another pair of shorts and a

singlet to the pile of dirty clothes. There is no snooze button for the

runner with a mission.

Folding a pile of our running clothes always puts me in my own world. As I

watch Harriet fold her lace tops, I can't help but to think of how good she

always looks in them. While I fold my special racing top, I always recall and

relive the race I ran in it the past weekend. And when the pile is small, it

means that the week was not as fulfilling as it could have been. We both take

joy in the fact that running clothes in the laundry is a part of our

lifestyle and our commonality.

Once in a while, the dryer seems to have a ravenous appetite. If there are

more of Harriet's bottoms than tops, I try to recall the run she did topless.

You would think I would remember something like that! If I end up not finding

a match for one of my socks, I wonder if I actually hopped instead of running

one day. The dryer monster strikes again.

The laundry isn't much different than the running, if you think about it.

With both, you will get out of it exactly what you put in. If you put running

clothes in the wash, then it's running clothes you will soon be folding. And

if it's good running you put in, than good races will be the result. You

can't expect anything else, because it all comes out in the wash.

Used by Permission from the Column Thoughts of a Roads Scholar web site:





Reviews By Woody Green

* 10K & 5K Running, Training and Racing, a book by David Holt, will be a good

addition to the libraries of runners looking for a basic training manual. Holt

provides a plan known as the Running Pyramid in which a base of mileage plus

farlek is used to advance to strength and hill training, anaerobic threshold

work, intervals and finally a peak for that all important race you are

pointing to. The information is sound and well laid out, and training

schedules are provided at the end of the book.

* Distance Training For Masters is a new book by an old fox. Arthur Lydiard,

whose success with runners like Olympic gold medalist Peter Snell, has made

him legendary. The basis of most modern distance training programs comes from

the Lydiard system, and the very Running Pyramid presented by David Holt in

the book mentioned above is very similar to the system used by Lydiard. Co-

written by Garth Gilmour, this book presents nothing really new to those who

are already familiar with the Lydiard approach to distance training. Don't

look to this book if you want to be coddled or given leave to spend most of

your time cross-training. Lydiard feels runners should train every day, lest

their muscles "get gummed up" with disuse. His training schedules are

demanding and involve both hard running and drills to improve strength, form

and biomechanics.

Lydiard provides a program for the new runner to get started, but otherwise

the book makes few if any concessions to the needs of a masters athlete's

aging body. While I fully embrace Lydiard's principals of training, I was

disappointed in a lack of information on how to adapt the program for older

athletes. While it may be true that some very fit and genetically endowed

runners may be able to follow his rigorous training program with little

modification, many will not.

If you are unfamiliar with Lydiard's system, this book is still a good buy.

Many runners would do well to look to the Lydiard system as a model for good

training methodology. Look elsewhere, though, for advice unique to the masters





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